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Hiring Friction Component

Assessment & Selection

Assessment and selection is about answering the question: Are our screening, assessment, and selection practices aligned with our hiring requirements?

Being intentional about assessment and selection creates a smoother, more efficient hiring process. But there’s another critical advantage: It reduces the role of bias in your hiring decisions. When members of the hiring team make decisions without any structure in the assessment, they’re much more likely to let biases like confirmation bias and similar-to-me bias influence their decisions. This means they’ll often select candidates who come from a similar background and quickly dismiss candidates from different backgrounds—even if they’re not consciously aware that they’re doing it. This approach can erroneously eliminate good candidates from your pipeline and create an inconsistent experience for candidates from different backgrounds. Adding structure to your assessment makes the hiring process more fair and equitable.

There are two factors to keep in mind when adding structure to your assessments: reliability and validity. 

  • Reliability is about the consistency of the results. If you interview the same person two times (or if two different interviewers interview the same person), will you get the same result?
  • Validity is about the accuracy of the results. If you’ve determined that a certain quality is important for success in the role, are you assessing candidates on that quality and later confirming that their job performance is aligned with your expectations?

Even the best recruitment teams in the world can run afoul of issues with validity and reliability in recruitment assessment and selection processes.  For example, Google was well known for having a quirky interview process that features brain teaser questions, such as, “how many golf balls can you fit into an airplane?”  But after years of conducting interviews in this manner, the former Senior Vice President of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, famously determined that these brain teasers were not accurate ways of assessing candidates as the results did not correlate to long term performance. “We found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time,” he told the New York Times. Instead, he recommends structured interviews, where you ask all candidates the same questions and use a consistent rubric for assessing candidates.

When assessment and selection are low friction, there’s a framework for assessing candidates’ capabilities against requirements at all stages and recruiting teams continuously review the effectiveness of screening, assessment, and selection tools.

But when assessment and selection are high friction, screening, assessment, and selection all take place on an ad hoc basis, teams rely on unvalidated tests, tools, and approaches, and there’s no review of effectiveness or success.

Talent Acquisition Diagnostic assessment

Take the Hiring Friction assessment to benchmark the performance of your recruitment function using the components of the Hiring Friction Maturity Matrix.

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